Monday, July 30, 2012

Protect Utah’s outdoors economy

With the Outdoor Retailer Show in Salt Lake City this week, it is a good time to reflect on what we have and how to protect it.

World class recreational opportunities are found throughout Utah, Colorado and Wyoming, a region that boasts one of the most successful recreation economies in the country, thanks to several national parks and iconic landscapes such as the San Rafael Swell, the Dirty Devil River and Desolation Canyon.

For decades these fantastic natural areas, which include world-famous paddling, rock climbing, mountain biking, canyoneering and hiking, have reliably attracted tourists to our hometown of Moab.

These unique recreation opportunities also attract permanent residents, resulting in an increased tax base for our town that has helped fund a new hospital, pool, library and school in the last five years alone. Our community depends on these regional recreational assets to protect our local economy and quality of life.

A recent Outdoor Industry Association study shows that as the national economy slumped, the outdoor recreation industry grew, driving $646 billion in annual spending and supporting 6.1 million domestic jobs. Salt Lake Tribune